Child Support Terms
We offer this listing to help you better understand term that are commonly used in the child support process:
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Absent Parent: Also referred to as AP, obligor, and non-residential or non-custodial parent. This is the person ordered to pay child support.
Administrative Hearing: A proceeding administered by a child support hearing officer, who makes determinations on such issues as child support, paternity, medical insurance, review and adjustment of support and mistakes of fact.
Arrearage: Past due child support.
Audit: Process of verifying account balances.
Birthing Cost: The cost of a child’s birth paid for by Medicaid. It may be assessed to one or both parents.
Buccal-Swab: A genetics test used in paternity cases. Tissue cells are swabbed from the inside of the cheek.
Central Paternity Registry: A statewide listing of children born out of wedlock.
Certified Print-out: A report that verifies child support balances.
Child Support Payment Central (CSPC): Ohio’s centralized system that collects and disburses child support payments.
Contempt: Failure to follow court orders.
CSEA: Child Support Enforcement Agency
Custodial Parent: The person granted legal child custody. Also referred to as the CP, residential parent or obligee.
Default: An unpaid child support balance equal to or greater than one month’s support payment.
Defendant: A person against whom a court action has been filed.
Emancipation: The removal of a child from child support. This usually occurs when the child turns 18 and has completed high school or no longer attends full time.
Enforcement: Efforts taken to ensure fulfillment of support and/or health insurance orders.
Escrow: An account established to hold money until a determination is made as to where the money needs to be applied.
Felony Non-Support: A criminal charge that may be made when an obligor has failed to pay 26 out of the last 104 weeks of child support.
FIDM: Financial Institution Data Match, a process in which money is transferred from a bank account to pay a past-due child support balance.
Findings and Recommendations: The initial review of income information and recommendations as to the amount of child support.
Foster Care: Cases where the children have been taken from their home due to neglect, abuse, delinquency or dependency.
Garnishment: Withholding of wages to pay child support.
Genetic Tests: Analysis of blood, tissue or DNA of the mother, child and alleged father(s) to prove or disprove paternity.
Imposition: Seeking to fulfill a sentence that has been suspended pending compliance with a court order.
Income Withholding: An administrative order that the CSEA sends to an obligor’s employer requesting that a child support obligation be withheld from the obligor’s paycheck.
IV-A: Refers to cash assistance, food stamps and/or medical card services provided by the Department of Job and Family Services.
IV-D: Refers to the section of the Social Security Act that established the child support agency. An IV-D case is one in which the CSEA provides services.
Jurisdiction: Legal authority that a court has over particular persons, certain types of cases and a geographical area.
Lien: Legal claim upon property to prevent sale or transfer until debt is paid.
Long Arm Statute: A law that permits one state to claim jurisdiction over someone who lives in another state.
Lump Sum: A one-time payment that the CSEA may seize to pay off back child support.
Medical Support: A court order calling for medical insurance coverage.
Mistake of Fact Hearing: An administrative or court hearing requested by the obligor or obligee because he or she objects to formal findings and recommendations of the CSEA.
NMSN: National Medical Support Notice, a federal notice requiring that a child be enrolled in his parent’s employer-provided insurance plan, if available at a reasonable cost.
Non-custodial parent: Parent who does not have custody of a child.
OBES: Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, which provides unemployment benefits in the State of Ohio.
Obligee: Person entitled to receive child support payments.
Obligor: Person required to pay the child support obligation.
Ohio Parent Locator Service: A system maintained by the State of Ohio to search for a party’s whereabouts and employment information.
Ohio Works First: The name of Ohio’s public assistance program.
Paternity: Determination of the biological father.
Petitioner: Person who requests court action.
Plaintiff: Person who requests initial court action.
Postmaster Verification: Process by which the post office verifies that an individual receives mail at a given address.
Presumed Father: A man named as a potential father of a child, without legal determination.
Public Assistance: Variety of governmental programs that help families—based on need and for a limited time—with basic needs, such as cash assistance, food stamps and health care.
Residential Parent: Person who has custody of the child(ren).
Respondent: Person who responds to court action taken against him or her.
Review and Adjustment: The process of reviewing a child support order to determine if it should be amended.
Seek Work: Requirement of an obligor to report every month to the CSEA that he or she is actively looking for a job.
Shared Parenting: Formally referred to as joint custody, this allows parents to share time with the child(ren).
Spousal Support: Formally known as alimony, this is an obligation to support a former spouse.
State Hearing: A review of the child support case by the State of Ohio requested when a party does not believe that his or her IV-D case is being handled in accordance with state or federal guidelines.
Subpoena: An order to appear at a specific time and place to give testimony upon a particular matter.
Support Enforcement Tracking System: A statewide computer system containing records of all child support cases in Ohio.
Support Order: The amount of money to be paid for the current child support obligation as determined by the Ohio Child Support Guidelines.
Tax Offset: Federal and state process that applies tax refunds to a past due child support obligation.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Formerly known as ADC or welfare; public assistance.
UIFSA: Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a federal law that governs the process of establishing and enforcing court orders when a child’s parents live in different states.